Photo Essay: Video Shoots in Suzhou and Shandong Province – Behind the Scenes

Last week I returned from a 10-day trip for video shoots for China Daily, which took me to the cities of Suzhou in Jiangsu province, and Qufu, Rongcheng and Weihai in Shandong province. The videos will publish sometime in the next few months. But in the meantime, I’d like to share a few of my favorite images from the trip in this photo essay.

On my first day of shooting in Suzhou, we came to Canglang Pavilion, one of the city’s classical gardens which also happens to host a Kunqu Opera troupe. I spent over two hours getting a “makeover” to look like an opera performer. While I could never match the professional moves of the veteran actors, the whole experience proved unforgettable (right down to removing the makeup, which required multiple washes!).

IMG_20190811_104538We did some shooting on our second day in Suzhou at the Suzhou Culture and Arts Centre, in its spacious lobby.


That afternoon in Suzhou, we shot at a community center — which also happened to lie in the very neighborhood that Marta of Marta Lives in China calls home. What serendipity that we had the opportunity to meet each other and even spend some time together!

Here’s a shot of me introducing the community center in Suzhou while on camera.

Later that same day, I did another introduction for the camera, this time in Suzhou Industrial Park.

IMG_20190812_112240On our third day in Suzhou, we returned to the Suzhou Culture and Arts Centre, where I had the opportunity to meet the founders of the Suzhou Ballet Theatre.

IMG_20190812_103539I also got to watch the ballet company rehearse backstage — what a joy to see them practicing their graceful and athletic moves!

IMG_20190812_145216In the afternoon, we traveled to the Humble Administrator’s Garden, the largest classical garden in Suzhou, for a shoot.

In the evening, I joined audiences at the Suzhou Culture and Arts Centre for some evening performances from young singers.

IMG_20190813_110831Our fourth day in Suzhou led us to the studios of an exceptional young artist engaged in Suzhou embroidery.

In the afternoon, we took a ride on a bus where you can dine and do sightseeing at the same time in Suzhou.

IMG_20190815_150112My next shooting assignment sent me to Qufu in Shandong province, where we visited a theme park, providing an immersive experience in the world of Confucius, right down to clothing and even desks.

The whole theme park aimed to transport you back over 2,000 years, and it had an enormous staff dressed in the garb of the era, which made for a lot of fun photo opportunities!

IMG_20190815_154946We also shot at a temple built near the birthplace of Confucius.

IMG_20190816_221840We traveled on high-speed train the following day to Rongcheng, a city at the easternmost point of Shandong province.

IMG_20190817_071018In Rongcheng, the hotel breakfast area offered the most stunning views of any other on the trip, with a gleaming blue lake just outside the windows.

First stop in Rongcheng — the easternmost tip of Shandong province and its picturesque ocean views.

IMG_20190817_144721We visited a sustainable aquaculture center in Rongcheng, where I had the chance to ride a boat out onto the gorgeous ocean waters.

IMG_20190817_155258At a tuna fish processing plant in Rongcheng, I couldn’t believe the size of these frozen tuna fish!

Late in the afternoon, I had the opportunity to enjoy a barefoot walk along the beach, letting the cool ocean waters lap at my feet.

IMG_20190818_124623Our final day of shooting landed us in Weihai, where my heart leaped upon checking into my room and discovering this lovely ocean view from its balcony.

We finished shooting in Weihai at the beach, where we snapped this shot of the full video production team. It felt like an enchanting — and ideal — place to call it a wrap.

IMG_20190819_135939The following day, I caught the high-speed train home to Beijing, and traveled part of the way with the video production team. Here’s a shot of all of our luggage together — the video production required some major equipment that the guys had to lug along to every location!

Stay tuned, as I will share with you the videos once they go live online — and then you can get a closer look at all the places I visited on this trip.

What do you think?

Did you enjoy this article?
Sign up now and receive an email whenever I publish new blog posts. We respect your privacy. You can unsubscribe at any time.
I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

7 Replies to “Photo Essay: Video Shoots in Suzhou and Shandong Province – Behind the Scenes”

  1. Great pics! It was so nice to meet you. When I first saw you I was like “Is it her? No, it can’t be!”. I couldn’t believe you were right in my neighborhood haha. 缘分!!

  2. Wow! You must have had a wonderful time doing the video shoots! Just can’t wait for the videos to go on line! When will that be, Jocelyn?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

gifts to china